I may have to take my mom's dog away from her. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

I may have to take my mom's dog away from her. Any advice?

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My mother is 87 with CHF and dementia. She has an 11 year old dog and still lives alone in her condo. Her dog has been getting sick because she cannot stop herself from feeding him small portions of what she eats daily. I have tried, begged, her to stop and have explained how it is making him sick. The vet put her dog back on bland diet and antibiotic. I am afraid I will have to remove him from her home. She loves this dog more than life and she doesn't understand what she is doing, she would never harm him in any way on purpose. Please help, need advise. Thank you.

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Remove this old dog and out him where? If you surrender him to an animal shelter he will likely not get adopted given all the competition by younger animals. This dog is 11 years old. The dog doesn't know that he's sick and is probably quite happy with her, so before you remove your mother's dog forever, try putting the dog in another room while your mother eats so she cannot share her food with him.
Helpful Answer (39)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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I didn't read NYdaughter's comment to be insulting. It's honest. Nobody is going to adopt an 11 year old dog... (well, I mean they COULD, but it's rare...) - I really don't think she meant to be insulting to you at all. Putting the dog in another room (and I have only read the first couple of comments so far) might work? Just know that we all try to help each other and if we can't help, then we can at least say, "hey, I am going through that, too!" - But really I don't think she meant to make you feel bad. You are definitely doing nothing wrong at all by asking for help and this really is a great place to ask for it. :)
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Reply to Nikki999
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You said Mom has dementia. She can't reason as to feeding this dog. If you can take the dog into you home that is good. No sense him suffering. Can you get her a bird or some other pet that's not so hands on? She is still on her own?

I would think very hard about moving mom into your house. That can be very difficult. With dementia her care is only going to get more difficult.

And finally, I don't understand what you are upset about. This is a great forum and you will get good advice. You don't have to accept it but people will offer their thoughts.
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Reply to Windyridge
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I would bring the dog into my own house with my husband, daughter, and my own two dogs that get along with him. If I let him stay with my Mom he will have a painful death of having chronic diarrhea which is in humane. The dog quite definitely feels sick and I can tell when he becomes very lethargic. My Mother can come and move in as well. I am dealing with a difficult situation daily and NYdaughter's comment was extremely insulting! I though I could come here for support, I guess not.
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Reply to Lauraj155
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With dementia, your mother may be approaching the time when she'll need additional living help beyond living alone in her condo. One way the need for more appropriate feeding of the dog can be met is to see if you can find someone who cares for animals in their spare time, someone like those who take in animals while the family is on vacation, or who starts a dog-walking service.

These people typically love animals. It isn't a high paying sideline.

You could try to find someone who can come in to feed the dog, under some acceptable guise such as you want to help her out with dog care, the person is studying to be a vet, or a younger person might be working on an animal care badge for a scouting group.

You might try to tell her that this person needs to assume a high level of care for an animal in order to meet his/her long term educational standards, or to get the badge....the question is whether or not your mother would remember.

I'm wondering also about her diet; is she eating high fat, high sugar foods? Is it possible that you could change her diet to make it more healthful so that scraps aren't as harmful to the dog, as well as provide a menu that she can consult to feed the dog - make it a ritual... every day she can look at the menu to decide which of several items (preferably canned dog food) to feed the dog.

Another option is to make your own dog food; some organic gardeners I know do this, and it's a lot healthier than the canned food. You could package it in jars with pretty ribbons and label it as dog food. Maybe she can adapt to this thinking it's a special treat for the dog.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Thank you everyone for all comments and suggestions. I appreciate your help. I'm sorry for not sounding appreciative. I think I have reached a breaking point with my Mom as I have been her sole source of support for the past four years. My brother and sister live out of state and visit twice a year for a few days or a week at most. My Mom lives on a fixed income and Living in CA. the cost of facilities to live are very high, many with sub par care.

My Mom is a bit of a narcissist and very controlling. She does not take my suggestions very often if at all. Now, with her increasing dementia I don't know what to expect.

My husband and I took her car away nine months ago because of her multiple accidents and concern for her safety and especially the safety of others. It was not taken lightly by my mother.

I finally used my POA to get her mail forwarded to my house. For the past several years she has been sending money or checks overseas entering contests to win thousands of dollars. I kept reminding her of scams and stealing of identities but to no avail. I haven't yet told her that her mail has been forwarded to my address for fear of her rage and anger.

I am fortunate to have a loving husband who supports me in my efforts. Thank you all for reading.
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Reply to Lauraj155
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I think you already have a solution because you already mentioned it. If you're actually up to it, it sounds like moving your mom and her dog into your house with you and your family is probably a very wise move. That way, there's constant supervision of everything your mom does including with her dog. It would be hard to separate when you've had a pet from a baby if this happens to be the case. I also like some of the other ideas that were mentioned here as well. Taking the dog out for a walk while your mom is eating is definitely a big help as well as the other idea of putting the dog in another room while your mom's eating. It may not be a very good idea to leave your mom out on her own she's pretty bad off. This is why I mentioned how you have the ultimate solution right in front of you. If your mom is living with you and your family at your house, you'll want to make sure there's always someone available to tend to the dog and someone else who can draw your mom's attention away from feeding the dog unhealthy food. If one person can tend to the dog, and another person can tend to your mom, this would definitely be a smart strategy. Maybe someone else can completely take over the feeding responsibilities of the dog so that the dog can still stay with your mom. The dog by actually like having additional people around, especially when the dog realizes someone else is trying to help restore his or her health. I'm sure the dog knows he or she is sick, but I'm not sure he or she realizes what's causing that illness. This is why someone else really needs to take action, and I really like your solution as well as you don't go through burnout. As long as you have the help and support that you need, you should be fine, but definitely know where your limits are.
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Reply to DigitalBanker
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id like to have the dog . im canning potatoes and ran short of ham sooner than expected .
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Reply to captain
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I have no answer but I have a problem that is almost identical with my 92 year old mom and her maltese! We have even tried writing a note "from the vet" that we put in front of her dish at the table every day to remind her not to feed the dog, but she does it anyhow. My mother is FIXATED and obsessed with this little dog she loves so much! What to do???
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Reply to Nikki999
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Laura, ok I got to all the comments and I want to tell you that my mom, too, is also a little narcissistic and very VERY OCD and controlling! (Neurotic!) - I just want to say I am right where you are at in this issue! Maybe you could try to say it's time to take the dog out to pee or something while mom is eating and make that a daily thing. Just kind of get the dog occupied while mom eats breakfast and dinner?
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